CCARC, Inc. celebrated 65 Years of Service to people with disabilities at our Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on May 17. The event was held at St. George Greek Orthodox Hall in New Britain and featured the presentation of several Partner Awards to individuals and organizations who have helped to fulfill our Mission to “Make Dreams Happen” for people with intellectual disabilities supported through CCARC’s services.
The evening started off with Mayor Erin Stewart presenting a proclamation in recognition of CCARC’s 65th Anniversary. The crowd was then delighted by a surprise “Flash Mob” by CCSU dance students under the direction of Professor Catherine Fellows.
CT State Rep. Dr. William Petit, a newly elected CCARC Corporator, brought greetings and a citation from the New Britain and Plainville delegation of the Connecticut Assembly.
CCARC Board member, Pastor Thomas A. Mills, Jr. was presented with the “Yes I Can!” Self-Advocacy Award in recognition of the kindness and generosity he and his congregation at Grace Church have extended to people with disabilities served by CCARC.
A special “Person of the Year” Award was presented posthumously in memory of State Rep. Betty Boukus who served the 22nd House district for 22 years. Anne L. Ruwet, CEO said “Not only was Betty a great leader and a mentor to so many incoming legislators, she cared deeply for the people of Connecticut, especially those who face challenges and need someone to champion their cause. Her big heart, sharp wit and generous spirit are truly missed. All of us at CCARC appreciated Betty for the many ways she supported our Mission.”
Several faculty and staff of Central CT State University were recognized with the Partner in Community Award for their varied contributions to strengthen CCARC’s efforts. Those being honored included Dr. Matthew Martin, Dr. Delia Sanders, Dr. Michele Dischino, Professor Eleanor Thornton, Asst. Professor Tina Rice and Jessica Hernandez, MSW.
CCARC also expressed its appreciation to the Berlin High School Rotary Interact Club under the direction of Dr. Michele Imossi and Lisa Hatton with a Partner in Care Award. These students regularly volunteer their time assisting with the spring and fall dinner dances at CCARC, as well as Saturday Morning Sports Clinics. Senior Nicole Cyr represented the group by delivering a touching message about the Rotary Interact Club’s commitment to “Service Above Self” and shared her own personal story of having experienced physical disabilities as a result of an accident.
This year’s Partner in Business Award was presented to Teresa’s Catering of New Britain. Teresa Szfranski and her family have served as the caterer at CCARC events for many years. Their generosity and attention to quality and detail have greatly contributed to the success of CCARC’s fundraising efforts.